The Tertiary Education Commission has told academics today at the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and CPIT that it will be business as usual for their Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) quality evaluations. PBRF is the funding mechanism that the commission uses to allocate research money to tertiary institutions. It is worth tens of millions of dollars to individual institutions and requires academics to submit portfolios of their research upon which their institution is ranked, and then funded.
TEU has argued since the Canterbury earthquake in September that academics based in Canterbury, who have had to take a significant amount of time away from their core research, to help both their friends and family, as well as their institutions, get back on their feet are at a disadvantage to their peers in other parts of the country.
TEU has provided the commission with a range of simple, viable alternative approaches to PBRF, so that academics in Canterbury would not need to meet 100 percent of their PBRF targets. However, today the commission has ruled all those out.
TEU national president Sandra Grey says that it is outrageous.
“Academics’ reputations and career prospects are tied up in PBRF performance,” says Dr Grey. “It’s simply not realistic to expect Christchurch academics to carry on as if nothing unusual has happened in the last eight months and have them submit quality evaluations as per normal.”
Thanks to Tim Miusson @ Flickr for the photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/timothymnz/5487252855